In order to solve the cube you must first understand the terminolgy, so
you know the difference between a turn and a twist, among others.
If you are a total beginner, look at this description of the basic concepts
of Rubiks Cube.
The animated Java
cubes that are used for illustrations and examples are explained here.
The Basic Idea
Most people solve the cube layer by layer. This is a simple way for
the human mind to approach the problem, but it is useless for speed cubing. No matter how
good you are, you will use more than 100 moves. Going for speed, you can solve it using
60 moves on average.
The basic problem with the layer method is obvious, and very big.
When you have completed the first layer, you can do nothing without breaking it up.
So you break it, do something useful, then restore it. Break it, do something, restore it.
Again and again. In a good solution you do something useful all the time. This layer is in
the way of the solution, not a part of it.